Published On: Mon, Jun 9th, 2014

Alexander Imich, the oldest man in the World, passes away at the age of 111

Imich,  a Polish-born Holocaust survivor,  achieved the distinction of  being certified the oldest man on earth.

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It has been announced that Alexander Imich,  who for  just  four months held the distinction of being the oldest  man in the World, has  passed away  in New York at the age of 111.

Inch passed away over the weekend at the home for senior citizens in Manhattan, where he had lived since 1986, after his wife Wela passed away.

Alexander  Imich took on the role of becoming the world’s oldest validated male supercentenarian (those who reach the age of 110 and over), when the previous record-holder, Arturo Licata of Italy, passed away on April 24.

In a newspaper  interview conducted just a few days after becoming the world’s oldest male, a still lucid  Imich made light of his longevity by stating that he had no idea or plan to reach such a rich age, going on to add modestly that  “ It’s not like winning  the Nobel Prize.”

Imich has often attributed his longevity to the fact that he  exercised regularly, ate sparingly and never consumed alcohol and was known to recall that in his lifetime the greatest invention that he witnessed was the spread of “the airplane” with the inaugural flight of Wright Brothers taking place  10 months before he was born.

Alexander Imich was born into a well-to-do secular Jewish family on Feb. 4, 1903, in the town of Czestochowa in the southern part of Poland, where his family  owned a  large and successful painting and decorating business. As a young man,   Iman was interested in pursuing a career with the Polish Military,  but his attempts were thwarted by the latent anti-Semitism, which he claimed was prevalent at that time.  With his  hopes dashed of becoming a captain in the Polish Navy, Alex chose an academic career,  gaining a PhD in zoology at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków in 1929, However, again, probably through anti-Semitism, Alex recalled how difficult it was to find an academic position in his profession and he began to work in the field of  chemistry

In his late twenties, Iman began to take an interest in spirtitlusim, in particular a well known Polish medium known as Matylda S., who was  particularly renowned for organizing  séances where those attending received considerable solace by being made able to communicate with  those who had departed “ this life.” The experience played  a considerable part in shaping Imich as an adult, and possibly prepared him for the difficult experiences that he would go through in later life. In any event, Imich   detailed his experiences at the these Polish seances in a paper which was later published in a German scholarly journal in 1932. More than sixty years later, an intensive  compendium of works which  he wrote and  edited entitled  “Incredible Tales of the Paranormal, ” were published by Bramble Books, when Imich had already reached the age of  92.

Imich’s life was to take a dramatic turn, when as  World War II broke out , he and his wife Wela  succeeded in fleeing the Nazi occupation of Southern Poland, making it  to Bialystok, which had been occupied by the Russians. As the Imach’s refused to accept Soviet citizenship,  they were sent to a labor camp where they passed the rest of the war years in the most difficult of conditions.

After World War II ended, the Imach’s made their way back to Poland, after a short spell in Samarkand, only to discover that most of their family had perished in the Holocaust.  In 1951 Alex and Wela left Poland for the last time, making their way to the United States, eventually settling in Manhattan.

 

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